By Fergal Gleeson
Freeman Secco Rondinella Corvina 2014 RRP $40 Rating 4.5 stars
A mysterious stranger! Freeman Secco is an Amarone style wine made from partially dried Rondinella and Corvina grapes, native to Valpolicella in Italy. Freeman’s plantings in Hilltops NSW of these northern Italian varietals are unique in Australia. Brian Freeman first fell in love with Italian wines 20 years ago when even Australian Sangiovese was obscure. Freeman Secco is now in it’s 12th vintage so this wine predates the current trend to try alternative varietals.
Give it a good decant and taste dark cherries and plums. There’s also a strong tar and tobacco baseline playing alongside the fruit. The mouthfeel of the fruit and tannins make this a standout. Brian holds back the wine for four years in barrel and bottle before release so that the acid and tannin has settled down. Highly recommended for those who enjoy complex, structured wines. It’s a style that will also cellar gracefully for 10 years. Gold Medal 2018 NSW Wine Awards.
Freeman Prosecco 2018 RRP $23 Rating 4 stars
Has a really refreshing crunchy green apple flavour. If an Australian Amarone style wine is rare, Prosecco is ubiquitous. As a category Prosecco has decimated other low and mid-priced sparklings.
This is a cut above the ‘cheap n cheerful’ Australian and Italian Proseccos of which there are many. The bead persists, there’s none of the obvious sweetness. It’s crisp and balanced and great value for money. The 2017 picked up a trophy for ‘Best Sparkling’ at the 2018 Hilltops Wine show. Expect similar recognition for this edition.